Colonel Paduka Sri Sir Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad, GCMG (24 August 1895 – 1 April 1960) was the first Supreme Head of State (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) of the Federation of Malaya, eighth Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Seri Menanti and second Yang di-Pertuan Besar of modern Negeri Sembilan. Born Tunku Abdul Rahman at Seri Menanti, he was the second son of Tuanku Muhammad ibni Almarhum Tuanku Antah, first Yang di-Pertuan Besar of modern Negeri Sembilan and seventh Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Seri Menanti (1888-1933) by his consort Tunku Puan Chik.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman received his primary education at the Jempol Malay School, going on to the Malay College between 1907 and 1914. He worked at the Federal Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur for a period of one year before being appointed Assistant Collector of Land Revenue in Seremban. He served in the Malayan Volunteer Infantry as a Second Lieutenant, to be promoted Lieutenant in 1918. On the death of his elder brother, Tunku Abdul Aziz, in 1917, he was groomed as heir to the throne and received the title of Tunku Muda Serting.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman was later appointed as Assistant Malay Officer in Klang before being transferred to Sepang. He was then assigned to work in Ulu Selangor as Assistant Collector of Land Revenue. As a result of his perseverance and diligence, he was promoted to Assistant District Officer. The turning point of his career was in 1925, when he served for a short period in the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court.
In 1925, he accompanied his father, who was then the ruler of Negeri Sembilan, on a trip to the United Kingdom for the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley and to visit His Majesty King George V. During the journey to the United Kingdom, he decided that he wanted to study law. With the approval of his father Tuanku Muhammad, Tuanku Abdul Rahman stayed in the United Kingdom until he completed his studies and received a degree in law.
He stayed on to qualify as a barrister from Inner Temple. Three years later, he was admitted to the bar. In London, he was elected first President of the Kesatuan Melayu United Kingdom, one of the earliest Malay nationalist groups. Upon returning to Malaya in December 1928, he served in the Malayan Civil Service in various parts of the country. For the first few years, he worked hard until he became a Magistrate. Subsequently, he was appointed District Officer.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman married four times:
- In 1919 to Dulcie Campbell, a Eurasian nurse who embraced Islam as Cik Maimunah (divorced).
- In 1920 to Tunku Maharun binti Tunku Mambang, a member of the Negeri Sembilan royal family (divorced).
- In 1929 to Tunku Kurshiah binti Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, a cousin, who became first Raja Permaisuri Agong or Queen of Malaya.
- In 1948 to Tunku Zaidah binti Tunku Zakaria (1922-present), another cousin.
Two of his children succeeded him as Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan:
- Tuanku Munawir (son of Tunku Maharun), who reigned 1960-1967.
- Tuanku Jaafar (son of Dulcie Campbell), who succeeded his brother in 1967 and reigned till 27 December 2008.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman died in his sleep at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur in the early morning of 1 April 1960. The lying in state was held at the Banquet Hall of the Istana Negara. On 2 April 1960, a state funeral procession was held in Kuala Lumpur, whereupon the teak coffin of His Late Majesty was then taken by train to Seremban and later by hearse to the Istana Besar, Seri Menanti. He was buried at the Royal Mausoleum in Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan on 5 April 1960.
Source: Wikipedia, Parlimen.gov.my, royalark.net.